For the first time in 49 years, organizers of local Right to Life say March for life will be a celebration

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:38 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Around 30 people packed into a charter bus in Dubuque County Wednesday to make the 15-hour trip to Washington D.C. for the 2023 March for Life.

Organizers said this year’s demonstration would have a much different feel after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the summer of last year. That ruling gave women the choice to have an abortion.

“No matter whose child it is, that child needs to be respected,” said 15-year-old Gabrielle Westhoff.

Gabrielle made the trip with her mother, Michelle Westhoff; it was her first demonstration on Capitol Hill.

“People too often gloss over that that’s a life when a woman is pregnant,” said Michelle.

Organizers said their message would remain the same as the last 49 years of protest: that all life needs to be protected, but what has been a protest in years past was now something very different.

“It’s more of a celebration,” said Dubuque Right to Life Pilgrimage Coordinator. “We’re not protesting Roe V. Wade anymore.”

The Supreme Court’s Dobb decision removed federal abortion protection, sending the issue to the states. Now, Bourek said that was where their focus needed to be.

“We have to work within the states to make Iowa abortion free,” she said.

A goal that those marching in D.C. hope impacts the next generation.

“It ‘s really important that people see that there are younger people,” said Gabrielle. “This is a message that rights will always be important.”